Brain Cancer

"There are many young scientists in a similar position that could greatly benefit from the support at the early stages in their career."

Justin Lathia, PH.D.
Cleveland Clinic

Molecular Studies

"The Ohio Cancer Research award was instrumental in getting my laboratory off the ground as a new faculty member."

Denis Guttridge, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Breast Cancer

"For many in my position such achevements would not be possible without these early investments and I thank you for supporting OCR and enabling the cutting edge scientific projects of Ohio's talented young researchers."

Matthew Summers, PH.D.
Cleveland Clinic,
The Ohio State University

Gene Mutation

"The Ohio Cancer Research grant really sowed the seed of success for me to acquire $1.8 million federal funding since I joined the University of Toledo."

Song-Tao Liu, PH.D.
University of Toledo

Lung Cancer

"Research matters because lung cancer is poorly understood and current therapies are insufficient to save the lives of patients."

Anne Strohecker, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Funded with the support of Celeste and David Loewendick

Breast Cancer

"The lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer is 1 in 8 in women in the United States and 20% of the breast cancer patients die. We are exploring strategies to reduce breast cancer deaths in the clinic."

Huiping Liu, M.D., PH.D.
Case Western Reserve University

Cancer Therapy

"Metastasis, the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other sites in the body, is the main cause of death in most cancer patients. We believe our research will contribute to the identification of new therapeutic targets to reduce cancer cell invasion and metastasis."

Jennifer Leight, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Ohio Cancer Research Associates was founded in 1982 by three dedicated men: Dr. James Neidhart, who was then Clinical Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University; Dr. Grant Varian, physician at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio; and Dr. David Yohn, who was then Executive Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at OSU. Dr. Yohn served as the first President of the organization. Original Board of Trustees included Dr. Neidhart, Dr. Yohn, Martha Varian, Shelly LeVeque and Dr. Arthur James. The articles of incorporation were filed by Roger R. Stinehart, JD on March 31, 1982.

An impressive group of men and women served on the advisory board. These individuals included members of the medical, business and private sectors. OCRA received support from its Women’s Service Board and the Ohio Team which was committed to extend its financial and human resources. An initial major source of revenue was the organization’s Oncology Outreach program which connected oncologists from Ohio State University with regional hospitals.

Members and supporters worked toward a common goal—underwriting cancer research in the State of Ohio. The need for innovation and creative, basic cancer research projects in Ohio had been apparent for many years. Ohio Cancer Research Associates was created to meet that challenge. Cancer research was and is exclusively in Ohio. All funds raised here are spent here. Ohio Cancer Research works to benefit the people of Ohio and all humankind. RESEARCH — “The first step in finding a cure for cancer” is our underlying purpose.

In 1986 the board of trustees decided that if the organization was going to be able to grow, it needed an Executive Director. Dennis Zack assumed the position of Executive Director on July 15, 1986 and the office was established in its present location in the LeVeque Tower (initially donated by Katherine LeVeque). Mr. Zack led the organization for the next 26 1/2 years.

During his tenure, the organization funded $7 million in seed money grants that generated over $200 million in additional funding. “Give New Ideas a Chance” and “Early Detection Saves Lives” were his major themes for Ohio Cancer Research Associates. He developed Grand Illusions and You and the Night and the Music, A Star Award Gala to raise funds and cancer awareness around the state. The Turkey Hop Walk was one the first walks in Central Ohio.

In 2013, long-time Associate Executive Director Tom Lamb took over as Executive Director. In 2015, the name of the organization was shortened to simply Ohio Cancer Research.

Dennis Zack







Dennis Zack

Founding Executive Director